Fresno has scored high on a list of cities in the United States making a strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by SmartAsset, Fresno ranked No. 2 among 49 of the largest U.S. cities with the strongest recoveries from the COVID-19 recession by providing gainful opportunities for employment.
That catapulted Fresno to the upper reaches, with an overall score of 93.33 out of 100 based on components like, changes in consumer spending, small business openings, job postings and unemployment rates.
The top spot went to Salt Lake City, UT.
Why Did Fresno Rank So High?
One of the main reasons for Fresno’s rank can be attributed to the rise in the city’s job openings which went up 37.2% from pre-pandemic levels but also ranked sixth for its small business revenue and saw a drastically much higher consumer spending of up to 18.2%. Although, small business revenue is down in almost all cities across the country, Fresno’s 20.2% decline is around the same or less than most.
However, the city trails behind with a high unemployment rate of 7.4%, considering Fresno was already faring badly before the pandemic in 2019 when its jobless rate was at 5% in April and five years prior to that when it was at 8.1% in 2017.
Even so, Fresno’s unemployment rate while high is still nothing compared to 2014’s recession which was at a record high of 12.5 % according to data from California’s Employment Development Department.
The Secret to Strong Economic Recovery?
Mid-size cities like Fresno and Salt Lake City fared better in the SmartAsset survey than larger cities with substantial population size like Los Angeles and New York with similar factors pointing to an uptick in job growth and consumer spending.
According to the survey, Salt Lake City saw an increase in job postings of up to 19.8% in the last week of April of 2021 compared to the seven-day moving average in January 2020. The city also saw an increase of up to 20% in consumer spending and ranked second for the number of small businesses currently opened with a 22.5% decrease, which again still fares much better than most cities in comparison to cities like Tampa, FL who saw a decrease of 38.3% of small businesses.
How Did Other Valley Cities Fare?
Other Valley cities who landed a spot on the top 20 list, were cities like Bakersfield landing in the 14th spot with an overall index score of 74.33, and Sacramento following right behind at No.15 with an index score of 73.10.